August 16, 2023

Finest Hour 199, Special Issue 2022

Page 04

David Freeman, September 2022

The death of Queen Elizabeth II closes an era that started, for her, in 1926 when Winston Churchill was Chancellor of the Exchequer and ended this year with her name paired with Churchill’s as the two Greatest Britons of the past century. Their friendship forms the theme of this, our second special issue of the year.

Our striking cover image is generously supplied by artist Richard Stone, who tells the story on our back cover of painting the Queen at the time of her fortieth jubilee in 1992. Thirty years on, the historic reign ended following the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

We were extremely fortunate to secure the services of veteran royal biographer Hugo Vickers to write our lead feature. During one of the most demanding weeks of his life, Vickers balanced the many calls upon his time to document the long and deep association between the Queen and Churchill, a man described by his wife Clementine as “Monarchical Number One.” The remarkable friendship included an affinity for horses, a subject examined for us by Fred Glueckstein.

The Queen died at her beloved Balmoral Castle, where by chance she had her first meeting with Churchill in 1928. Alastair Stewart shows that there followed many experiences that the Queen and Churchill shared at the Scottish estate, where in her final days the Queen also met her last Prime Minister, Liz Truss. Australia was another country with which the Queen had a long and happy association. Harry Atkinson explains that the great Commonwealth also connected Churchill with the Queen in several ways now little known.

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Churchill College, Cambridge had its own connections with the Queen, and Churchill Archives Director Allen Packwood illustrates these with images from the collections, while Katherine Carter tells us about the day she guided the new monarch, King Charles III, around Chartwell. Finally, Andrew Roberts imagines a conversation between Churchill and the late Queen that should inspire us all.

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